George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, started his first full working day as the editor of the Evening Standard with a promise.
Osborne told journalists as he strolled into the office with a bundle of newspaper’s under his arm: “It’s very exciting to be starting in the new job.
“It’s a really important time in our country when people are going to want the straight facts, the informed analysis so they can make the really big decisions about this country’s future.
“The Evening Standard is going to provide that and it is going to entertain along the way.
“Now I’ve got to get in there – we’ve got a paper to get off stone so I better get started.”
However, a number of media pundits and political opponents are highly sceptical about Osborne’s appointment based on a number of factors, including his complete lack of experience as a journalist and his deep-rooted political leanings.
Speaking to The Guardian, Andy Slaughter, Labour MP for Hammersmith, said: “The main issues that we are campaigning on are directly the consequences of policies created by George Osborne, particularly the funding of public services. He has a direct interest in not correctly reporting the outcome of his own mistaken decisions.”
Imran Hussain, the director of policy with the Child Poverty Action Group, supports Slaughter’s sentiment and said: “People are finding it increasingly tough to pay rent and will cut back on other essentials to make ends meet, but there are limits to how much people can cut back on food and clothing. It is happening on George Osborne’s doorstep. We would want him to cover that issue without fear or favour; we hope he will. But a lot of the things that are driving child poverty flow from decisions made by the chancellor between 2010 and 2016.”
Local newspapers, and the Evening Standard despite its size, reach and influence is very much a local title, have a reputation for campaigning on behalf of their readers’ best interests irrespective of political affiliation.
Will the Evening Standard under Osborne’s watch retain its integrity as London’s leading local title and deliver the kind of news that impacts on the community it serves, or will it whitewash the news according to Osborne’s particular view of the city?